College football teams with the best chance to make the CFP

FiveThirtyEight predicts which college football teams are most likely to make the College Football Playoff.

Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama entered the season as the favorites to win the national championship.

While the same trio is still expected to make the playoff, who are some of the other teams in the mix?

The Big Ten East is always one of the most competitive divisions in college football. If Ohio State slips up, Michigan or Penn State are poised to take advantage of the Buckeyes’ loss.

What college football teams have the best chance to make the playoff?

No. 9 Penn State (12%) Penn State is 4-0 and hosts Northwestern on Oct. 1. The Nittany Lions have the talent to make the playoff, but they must get through a three-week stretch of Ohio State, Minnesota and Michigan.

No. 8 Utah (13%) Utah still has a chance to make the playoff, but the Utes likely need to win out. The FiveThirtyEight model gives Utah a 9% chance of winning the rest of its games. The Utes (3-1) lost their season opener to Florida. USC travels to Utah on Oct. 15 in a critical Pac-12 game.

No. 7 Minnesota (16%) Minnesota (4-0) has allowed 24 points this season. The Golden Gophers have an extremely manageable schedule that features just one remaining game against a ranked opponent (Penn State).

No. 6 USC (20%) The Trojans earned a tight win over an undefeated Oregon State team last week. USC has the offensive talent to make the playoff, but can the Trojans improve defensively? The model gives the Trojans an 11% chance of winning out.

No. 5 Michigan (22%) Michigan is projected to have a decent chance to make the playoff despite having a close call against Maryland last week. The Wolverines have a 17% chance to win the Big Ten.

No. 4 Clemson (35%) Clemson outlasted Wake Forest in overtime on Sept. 24. The Tigers face another challenge this week against NC State. The Tigers’ chances of winning the ACC (44%) are the best of any team in the Power Five conference.

No. 3 Ohio State (48%) Ohio State has a 16% chance to win the national title. The Buckeyes and quarterback CJ Stroud have several tough remaining games, but they are one of the favorites to win it all.

No. 2 Alabama (53%) Alabama has the same odds (39%) as Georgia to win the SEC. The Crimson Tide actually have the highest chance to win the national championship (23%) even though they don’t have the best chances of making the playoff.

No. 1 Georgia (54%) Why does Georgia have such a strong chance to make the playoff? 

The Bulldogs have two remaining games against ranked opponents (Tennessee and Kentucky) and have only three road games left on the schedule.

If Georgia finishes the regular season undefeated, the Bulldogs will likely make the playoff regardless of what happens in the SEC championship.


Listing all SEC football stadiums by seating capacity